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Okinawa Island

is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan. The island is approximately 70 mi long and an average 7 mi wide, and has an area of . It is roughly 640 km south of the rest of Japan, roughly the same distance off the coast of China, and 500 km north of Taiwan. The Greater Naha area, home to the prefectural seat of Okinawa Prefecture on the southwestern part of Okinawa Island, has roughly 800,000 of the island's 1.3 million residents, while the city itself is home to about 320,000.

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Okinawa, Japan has its own language! Although Japanese is the main dialect, this rare language called Uchinaguchi is only spoken on this small island. This ancient tongue is spoken primarily by elders of the island and is, sadly, starting to die out.

Contributed by Naomi Kline

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